New records were set in both the Premier League and Serie A this weekend as fans were treated to a festive flurry of ludicrously quick goals.
AC Milan led the way against Sassuolo on Sunday afternoon when Rafael Leao scored the fastest goal in Italian top flight history.
Indeed, just 6.2 seconds had elapsed from kick-off when Leao broke through the home defence to put the Rossoneri in front.
The Portuguese forward’s incredible strike beat the previous Serie A record by almost two full seconds, set by Paolo Poggi of Piacenza against Fiorentina in 2001. Milan went on to win 2-1.
Elsewhere, Scott McTominay became the first player in Premier League history to score two goals inside the opening three minutes of a match after he came flying out of the traps with a brace in Manchester United’s emphatic 6-2 win over Leeds United.
Scott McTominay is the first player in Premier League history to score twice in the first three minutes of a match 😳 pic.twitter.com/9fAQDp3xKd
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) December 20, 2020
Despite only taking 69 seconds to arrive, McTominay’s opening goal at Old Trafford was still some way off the fastest scored in the Premier League. That honour belongs to Southampton striker Shane Long, who took just 7.69 seconds to score against Watford in 2019.
The record for La Liga’s fastest goal is even quicker, with Real Valladolid forward Joseba Llorente taking just 7.22 seconds to register against Espanyol in 2008.
The fastest goal was set in 2014 when Bayer Leverkusen winger Karim Bellarabi took 9 seconds to score against Borussia Dortmund.
The record dates all the way back to 1992, when Caen midfielder Michel Rio scored against Cannes after 8 seconds.
In MLS, it’s a goal from Mike Grella of the New York Red Bulls against the Philadelphia Union, scored after 7 seconds in 2015.
Bayern Munich forward Roy Makaay can still claim to be the scorer of the fastest goal in Champions League history, netting after just 10.1 seconds in a game against Real Madrid in 2007.
Turkey legend Hakan Sukur is the scorer of the fastest goal ever witnessed at a finals, somehow managing to find the net just 10.8 seconds after opponents South Korea had taken kick-off in the third place playoff game at the 2002 World Cup.
Having missed Russia’s first two games at Euro 2004, striker Dmitri Kirichenko was called from the bench to start in their third and last outing at the tournament. He duly responded by scoring after just 67 seconds against Greece, which is still the fastest at a finals.
Christian Benteke is the international record holder when it comes to quick goals, after the Belgian striker scored just 8.1 seconds into a World Cup qualifier against Gibraltar in 2017.
Top 10 Fastest Goals of All Time
10. Felix Suarez
Alianza Lima vs. Independiente Santa Fe, 1976 — 6.1 seconds
There’s not a lot of information on Suarez’s goal other than it is logged as the fastest scored in the 60-year history of the Copa Libertadores.
9. Albert Mundy
Aldershot vs. Hartlepool United, 1958 — 6 seconds
Mundy scored well over 100 goals during his Football League career, though the quickest came during his two-year stint with Aldershot when he scored after just six seconds against ‘Pool — and it was the fastest goal ever recorded at the time.
8. Gustavo Ramirez
Minero de Zacatecas vs. Club Necaxa, 2014 — 4.1 seconds
The fastest goal in Mexican football, Ramirez’s lightning strike occurred in the very first match of the 2014 Ascenso MX season.
7. Gareth Morris
Ashton United vs. Skelmersdale United, 2001 — 4 seconds
It is widely accepted that Morris’ goal scored in the first qualifying round is the fastest in the FA Cup. The only reason for doubt is the lack of reliable records dating back to the venerable competition’s very earliest years.
6. Damian Mori
Adelaide City vs. Sydney United, 1995 — 3.69 seconds
Australian journeyman Mori was the previous official holder of the Guinness World Record for fastest goal until Ricardo Olivera pipped him three years later.
5. Colin Cowperthwaite
Barrow vs. Kettering Town, 1979 — 3.55 seconds
Cowperthwaite spent his entire career at Barrow between 1977 and 1992, becoming the club’s overall record appearance holder (704) and top goal scorer (282) in the process.
The fastest goal he ever scored came in 1979, when he took 3.55 seconds to open the scoring against Kettering — a goal which was formally recognised at the time as the fastest ever scored in association football.
It remains the quickest in full English national competition, though one during a reserve match would eclipse it…
4. Frederico Chaves
America Mineiro vs. Villa Nova, 2003 — 3.17 seconds
Brazilian striker Chaves, better known by his nickname “Fred,” was especially quick on the draw in 2003 when he scored a goal directly from kick off that is still recognised as the fastest in Brazilian football.
3. Carlos Almeida
FC Oliveira do Hospital vs Atletica de Arganil, 2011 — 3.1 seconds
Almeida scored directly from kick-off in a Coimbra regional game, down in the fourth tier of Portuguese football.
2. Ricardo Olivera
Rio Negro vs Soriano Interior, 1998 — 2.8 seconds
Argentine striker Olivera’s goal against Soriano was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the fastest goal scored for many years.
1. Marc Burrows
Cowes Sports Res. vs Eastleigh Res., 2004 — 2.56 seconds
This might be slightly controversial as the goal was clearly scored during an amateur match, but The Football Association have officially recognised Burrow’s wind-assisted goal as the fastest scored during a competitive game of association football.
Sadly, Burrows passed away five years later after being diagnosed with cancer. Still, his significant position in football folklore is unlikely to ever be surpassed.